Online Schools for Gifted/2e Students in the SF Bay Area: School Closure Edition

March, 2020

Has your differently tuned-in child been so-so about their school? Or maybe things are coming to light about the fact that a change is needed. Now might be a great opportunity to try out private school options. Many schools have gone online and are taking new students, some even temporarily.  As no Gifted/2e children are alike, no alternative schools are alike. I recommend knowing your child well and asking around about a school before selecting one. And of course, seek my help when needed.

Below are some local schools that I recommend and have personal experience with.* These are schools that you can sign up for online now, and get a feel for the fit for the fall for your child. I don’t recommend full-time online education for gifted/2e students in general (after school closures), although it can work as a supplement to learning.

I have connections to the following schools. If you know of a great school that works for gifted/2e/differently wired students and is offering something online during school closures, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list. I’ll note which schools have been added to the list by parents writing in. Thanks for your feedback!

K through 8 Schools

Sunnyside Micro School, Oakland, CA

Sunnyside is designed for 2e learners. During the school closures of Spring 2020, they offer open enrollment for their online classes specifically designed for gifted/2e learners.

4/3/20 update: Sunnyside is offering FREE/Donation-based online video classes for gifted/2e learners during Covid-19 school closures. See my Facebook post about it, as well as some Video Improv classes.

Big Minds Unschool, Pinole, CA

Big Minds is an excellent school for 2e learners. It uses some 1:1 coaching, and its strength is its group classes and overall knowledge of 2e students and how they learn.  They have gone online during school closures, but are not currently taking new students. As a school that values relationships and experiential learning, they will continue to look for approaches to online learning to accommodate the needs of students who were not previously enrolled. Contact them for more information.
Big Minds Unschool

High Schools

Academy of Thought and Industry (ATI), San Francisco

Because of school closures, ATI has gone completely online. ATI seems open to learning about exceptional learners. They are currently offering full-time enrollment for any students who want to commit to staying until the end of the year and who are local to the SF Bay Area. They hope you will stay in the fall, but there is no obligation. Let them know I sent you and you will get 10% off tuition.

ATI is a High School (8 – 12) that offers full-time, group classes with one on one supportive coaching. It seems to be a good fit for some gifted/2e learners who are ready for more intense academics, but also enjoy a small school with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, group classes, and one on one coaching. The school as a whole, seems open to continuing to learn about exceptional learners. ATI is open to early graduation and guides students well in thinking about how to prepare for college or alternative choices. During non-Covid times, each semester they have weekly “immersives” where students go out into the real world doing what they are interested in, such as a week at an ecology center, a week at a real film studio, etc. They have a staff of engaged and caring teachers and coaches.
ATI San Francisco Online Flyer Spring 2020
(Update on 4/17/20) Local families who are interested in finding our more about ATI are welcome to attend their Family Community Nights by Zoom in the next few weeks.

Fusion Academy, Walnut Creek, CA

Fusion has 1:1 tutoring and a great group of teachers to choose from. They have brought all of their classes online during school closures. 1:1 classes can work well with other types of learning for 2e/gifted homeschoolers. They are currently taking part and full-time students.
Fusion Academy Walnut Creek

Holden High School, Orinda, CA

Great for some 2e/gifted learners. They are online currently, but not taking new students as of 3/2020. Their admissions director is Kristin and she can be contacted at They have virtual tours and will have a virtual open house on 4/15/20.

Tilden Preparatory School, Albany, Walnut Creek & CA

(Added 4/2/20 by suggestion from a parent) Great for 1:1 for 8th to 9th grader. It offers some group classes. Willing to allow gifted/2e students graduate early with outside guidance. Everything is currently online and they are taking new students.

Please let me know if you have had a good experience with a school that you don’t see here, and that is now online. I’d be happy to add it to the list.

*As you know, differently wired students’ needs vary so widely! Graduating early and having the ability to access different learning levels and methods can be essential for some students, while others need something completely different. I only fully endorse a school for a child when I have done a full assessment for them. A school that will work for one child may be a miss for another at any given time, depending on where they are in the process of deschooling, addressing learning needs, etc.  Additionally, my endorsement of any of the above schools will be different depending on your child’s learning style. If you are looking for an appropriate school for your differently wired child and would like my help getting into the specifics, contact me. I’m here to help.

Teresa Currivan, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist, parent coach, school therapist and author of My Differently Tuned-In Child: The Right Place for Strength-Based Solutions. She is founder of The Right Place Learning Center and is recognized for developing the Currivan Protocol™ used to assess and treat learning challenges of  gifted/2e, and differently tuned-in children. She specializes in co-occurring exceptionalities. 

She speaks about differently wired children to teachers, faculty, and parent groups, and has published extensively on the topic. You can watch a recent interview with her by clicking here: Interview on Twice-Exceptionality in Children

Follow her on Facebook at 

Teresa’s book is now available at Amazon and other booksellers. Click here for the Amazon link. FrontBackCoverImages